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August 14, 2020
CLICK HERE for Links to State Guidance and Updates on COVID-19
Advancing Public Policies for people with Mental Illness, Substance Use Disorder and/or Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
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Francine Sinkoff, Editor
Ulster County, Ellenville Hospital Announce New Partnership to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Financial crisis worsens for New York counties, health and social services cuts mount - Mid-Hudson

Catholic Charities opens behavioral health clinic in Brooklyn - NYC

Telehealth boosts mental health patient engagement, care plan compliance - NYC

Supportive housing nonprofit opens sprawling, $87M Bronx residence - NYC

Cortland police host 8th annual crisis training

Coalition aims at preventing substance abuse in Steuben

Amidst a crisis, new WNY Mental Health Advocates leader wants to evolve services

GCASA awarded $1 million grant to help people with long-term recovery - Genesee
SUNY Empire Launches Groundbreaking Program to Expand College Access by Becoming an Autism-Supportive College
Malatras Center for Autism Inclusivity.jpg
SUNY Empire State College launched the statewide Center for Autism Inclusivity to make SUNY Empire a fully autism-supportive college and meet the growing demand for professionals working with children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

The announcement was made at SUNY Empire's Saratoga Springs campus during a socially-distanced press conference, which can be viewed in its entirety here.

Despite the growing number of students with autism who seek a college degree, there is a scarcity of higher education programs to fully support students with ASD. SUNY Empire's new Center for Autism Inclusivity, in partnership with Anderson Center for Autism, will also educate SUNY Empire faculty and staff on autism and how to meet the needs of students with autism in face-to-face and online environments. The new training coupled with SUNY Empire's nation-leading individualized education model will greatly expand educational opportunity for individuals with ASD. Read more here.


PSYCKES Access and Implementation
August 18, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

August 18, 1 - 2:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Addressing Justice System Inequities Head-On
August 18, 2 - 3:30 pm, Stepping Up Initiative

August 25, 1 - 2 pm, National Council for Behavioral Health 

National Practice Guidelines for Peer Specialists and Supervisors 
August 25, 2 - 3 pm, Doors to Wellbeing

Using PSYCKES Recipient Search
August 27, 10 - 11 am, OMH

CIT ECHO: Sustained Mental Health Training and Consultation to Law Enforcement, First Responders and Behavioral Health Partners
August 27, 3 - 4 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

Implementing a Peer Mentor Program: Strategies for Engaging Peer Recovery Support Specialists in Adult Treatment Courts
August 31, 12:30 - 2 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

August 31, 2 - 3:30 pm, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.

Enable Access to Client-Level Data in PSYCKES
September 1, 11 am - 12 pm, OMH

Creating a 'Connections Plan' to Reduce Social Isolation and Reduce Suicide Risk
September 2, 12 - 1 pm, NYS Suicide Prevention Coalition Academy 

Using PSYCKES for Clinicians
September 10, 2:30 - 4 pm, OMH

Understanding and Addressing Criminal Thinking
September 11, 2 - 3:30 pm, SAMHSA's GAINS Center

PSYCKES Mobile App for iPhones & iPads
September 15, 10 - 11 am, OMH

The Intersection of Farming Culture and Suicide Prevention
September 16, 12 - 1 pm, NYS Suicide Prevention Coalition Academy

September 23, 12 - 1 pm, NYS Suicide Prevention Coalition Academy

Using PSYCKES Quality Indicator Reports
September 23, 3 - 4 pm, OMH

Breaking Through to the Other Side: A Survivor's Story
September 30, 12 - 1:30 pm, NYS Suicide Prevention Coalition Academy



Children & Families Committee Meeting
August 18: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM


CLMHD Executive Committee Meeting
September 2: 8 am

Developmental Disabilities Committee Meeting
September 3: 1 - 2:30 pm

Addiction Services & Recovery Committee (ASR) Meeting
September 13: 11 am - 12 pm, GTM

Children & Families Committee Meeting
September 18: 11:30 am - 1 pm, GTM

Contact CLMHD for all Call In and Go To Meeting (GTM) information, 518.462.9422 
NYC Health + Hospitals Details Systemwide Plan to Treat Substance-Use Disorder

New York City Health + Hospitals is redesigning its treatment model for individuals with substance-use disorders.

Outpatient detox will be offered in a variety of care settings, the health system said, in contrast to its previous focus on traditional inpatient programs. The plan includes offering addiction consultation in all 11 of its emergency departments, traditional methadone services and integrated support for substance-use disorder in primary care. It also includes inpatient rehabilitation when needed.

The goal is to provide quicker access to addiction treatment that's focused on long-term results, executives said.

In December President and CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz said H+H would transition existing beds in all seven of its detox units. Read more here.
GOVERNING: Why Federal Aid Remains a Tough Sell for States and Localities

President Trump is not sold on the idea of helping states, cities and counties. In recent days, administration officials negotiating with congressional Democrats have apparently agreed to offer as much as $150 billion in state and local aid as part of the next coronavirus relief bill, but the president himself says it would be a bad idea to bail out "poorly run states."

"We can't go along with the bailout money," Trump said during a White House news conference on Wednesday. "We're not going to go along with that, especially since it's not COVID-related."

Since the pandemic began, Republicans have been skeptical about federal aid for states and localities. In April, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell floated the idea of letting states go bankrupt instead. The American Legislative Exchange Council has organized a letter-writing campaign among hundreds of legislators concerned about the federal deficit and other potential harms from a bailout.

The bipartisan associations that represent state and local officials assume that this has all been political posturing. Federal-level Republicans may not agree to the $1 trillion in aid sought by congressional Democrats, but the expectation ever since the spring has been that eventually the two sides would meet halfway. That's still not a bad bet. Read more here.
HHS Provider Relief Fund Phase 2 General Distribution Now Accepting Additional Applicants

On July 31, 2020, HHS announced that certain Medicare providers would be given another opportunity to receive additional Provider Relief Fund payments. These are providers who previously missed the June 3, 2020 deadline to apply for additional funding equal to 2 percent of their total patient care revenue from the $20 billion portion of the $50 billion Phase 1 General Distribution, including many Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and dental providers with low Medicare revenues. In addition, certain providers who experienced a change in ownership, making them previously ineligible for Phase 1 funding, will also be given an opportunity to apply for financial relief.

Starting August 10, these eligible providers may now submit their application for possible funds by August 28, 2020. This deadline aligns with the extended deadline for other eligible Phase 2 providers, such as Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, CHIP, and dental providers. Read more here.

Additional Information and Materials released by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA): CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Resources
New Health-Tech Partnership Seeks to Bolster Data-Driven Care Coordination

Manhattan health-tech firm Healthify has partnered with Boston-based analytics firm Algorex Health Technologies to provide clients individualized care coordination of insured members.

Healthify's technology platform allows health plans and care managers to identify at-risk members using data and connect them to community-based organizations through its network.

Algorex's machine learning capabilities can enhance the platform's offerings, said Manik Bhat, Healthify's CEO. Typically, care managers had publicly available Medicare and Medicaid data to get a broad sense of needs, but Algorex would be able to integrate other records, including property values or even car ownership, to provide risk modeling at an individual level, he said.
Read more here.
CDC Study Sheds New Light on Mental Health Crisis Linked to Coronavirus Pandemic

The Covid-19 crisis has brought with it a mental health crisis in the United States, and new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show just how broad the pandemic's impact on mental health might be.

A new CDC survey found that almost 41% of respondents are struggling with mental health issues stemming from the pandemic -- both related to the coronavirus pandemic itself and the measures put in place to contain it, including physical distancing and stay-at-home orders.

The findings, released Thursday in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, were based on an online survey of 5,412 adults living in the United States conducted between June 24 and 30. Read more here.

Responding to COVID-19: Innovating and Adapting to New Services, Populations, and Opportunities

Individuals with complex health and social needs are particularly vulnerable during a pandemic like COVID-19. Many have compromised immune systems, crowded living conditions, and jobs that either require them to work out of the home or are early losses in the economic downturn. In the current epidemic, programs that serve these individuals have had to rapidly adapt their operations to meet the growing and changing needs of this population. A redesign of services is required to address the emerging needs that the pandemic has indirectly created. Existing operations needed to quickly pivot to dramatically reduce in-person interactions. And new collaborations are necessary to inform, support, and deliver these interventions.

Last year, the National Center launched a working group of 15 individuals tasked with defining the front-line competencies for the field of complex care. The group was diverse in profession, care setting, and geography, but all were actively working in programs supporting individuals with complex health and social needs. The National Center interviewed members of the core competency working group to learn the challenges they were seeing and how they were overcoming them. The result is a series of blog posts highlighting their stories. Parts two and three coming soon.
  • Innovating and adapting to new services, populations, and opportunities
  • Switching to virtual care delivery
  • Finding and leveraging partnerships
Read more here.
Link to Care Broken for Many Youth Discharged From Psych Hospitals

Fewer than half of youth admitted to a psychiatric hospital received follow-up care within a week of discharge, despite such care being associated with better outcomes, researchers reported.

Among 139,694 adolescents on Medicaid who were admitted for psychiatric stays, just over half attended a mental health follow-up visit within a week of being discharged (56.5%), and this attendance was associated with a significantly lower risk of suicide within 180 days (adjusted relative risk 0.44, 95% CI 0.23-0.83, P=0.01), reported Cynthia A. Fontanella, PhD, of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, and colleagues.

Children of color were less likely to receive follow-up care within 7 days of discharge compared with white children, as were children with comorbid medical conditions, substance abuse, and recent self-harm, the team wrote in JAMA Network Open. Read more here.
When Things Aren't OK With a Child's Mental Health

Last week, to write about the risks of summer - the recurring safety issues of children being out in the sun, or near the water, I talked to safety-minded pediatric emergency room doctors about what was worrying them, as they thought about the children they might be seeing during their shifts over the coming weeks, and I specified that I wasn't asking about Covid-19 infection - I was asking about other dangers to children, in this summer shadowed by that virus.

Dr. Maneesha Agarwal, a pediatric emergency physician and assistant professor at Emory in Atlanta, said that although the lockdown and social distancing have been hard on children, "we initially saw a lull in children coming in with mental health problems." There was less bullying, because school and social interactions had stopped, and children were being supported by their families.

But she was concerned that returning to school could bring a new wave of bullying, particularly around pandemic-related issues, whether because of lockdown-related weight gain, or because of changes in family circumstances, with parents losing jobs and families more stressed. Read more here.

Leaving Jail, Addicts Face Growing Opioid Crisis During Pandemic

In April, Rob Camidge was released from a short stint in jail and right into a pandemic. A recovering heroin addict with long stints of sobriety, Camidge knew the routine that helped to keep him clean: Working. Going to the gym. And three times a week, visiting an outpatient program where his urine was tested.

Now, due to COVID-19, there was no work. The gym was closed. And his recovery program moved online, sans drug tests. Narcotics Anonymous meetings via Zoom "don't feel real," he said. "There's nothing like talking to someone across from you, looking from eye to eye."

Besides, he was isolated from his friends and family on the Jersey Shore-and idle. "I can't do what I normally do," he said. "So what I know best is getting high." And without in-person drug screenings, he figured "no one knows, the only person who knows is me...It's only going to be this one time." Read more here.
The Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors advances public policies and awareness for people with mental illness, chemical dependency and developmental disabilities.  We are a statewide membership organization that consists of the Commissioner/ Director of each of the state's 57 county mental hygiene departments and the mental hygiene department of the City of New York.